EYEWITNESS: Not the way we were…


…in cricket

No…your Eyewitness isn’t going into a tirade over the WI second loss to India in their two-Test series. He’s too dejected for that. It’s worse when they flatter to deceive; like when, in this second Test, they restricted India to a lead of just 56, and then collapsed for 127, giving their opponents a mere 72 runs to win the match and the series. It’s time once again to discuss whether we belong in Cricket Tests.

Contrast our performance with those in the shorter forms of the game – ODIs and T20 matches – and it’s clear that we don’t do too badly there. In fact, we’re downright competitive with any of the teams out there. So what is it about the long form of the game that makes us collapse like a house of cards? A while back, your Eyewitness suggested that Test cricket tests the players’ character…and he still believes this.

In his estimation then, for us to become competitive in Tests – or, yes, return to our glory days — West Indies cricket has to embark on building the character of its players, so as to enable them to stand up to the demands of a game that must be played across five days.

So where do we begin?? We could do worse than return to playing 4-day matches under Test-like conditions between the several territories. Time there was when each of the several regional teams was practically on par with the best Test teams in the world. It’s not a coincidence that it was the same time that we were ruling the roost in Test cricket.

But this was abandoned when the Franchise system was introduced into the 4-day competition in 2014, with glitzy team names like Guyana Jaguars and Barbados Pride. This was simply a not-too-thinly disguised attempt to compete with CPL, and it should be no surprise that the “slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am” attitude permeates the now openly declared “Professional League”

Test cricket takes a particular mindset… primarily the mental toughness to play each ball on its merit, and to bowl every ball to set up a batsman for that false stroke. This mindset isn’t suddenly going to manifest itself when we’re thrown into stadiums against teams that regularly play top quality domestic 5-day tournaments. India and its Ranji Cup has continued unchanged in its format since 1934, with only the teams increasing from 2 to the present 37!!

Sure, there will always be great Test players thrown up on sheer talent and innate good sense – like our present Jason Holder. But we can’t depend on this hit-or-miss approach, can we?

If we want to become better in Tests, as the Americans say in their inimitable style, we have to either “shit or get off the (Test) pot”!

…on “Black is beautiful”

When it comes to leading the way for us in the West Indies, when it comes to culture, you’ve got to hand it to the Jamaicans. From rebellions to reggae, to Rastafarianism, they have defined our unique civilisational world vision. We might have been colonised for a number of centuries, but we took the tools of the master to free ourselves, in the words of Brother Bob, “from mental slavery”.

So it was with more than a jolt of astonishment that your Eyewitness read about the recent survey which declared, “Skin bleaching shows that approximately 11 per cent of Jamaicans have bleached their skin. The incidence of bleaching was higher among men, as 12.5 per cent bleached, compared to 8.8 per cent women.” And most pertinently, that skin bleaching was most prevalent in the 15-to-34-years-old age group! Meaning our future leaders!!
So what’s next? Caustic-soda hair straightening every Friday night?

…at Mirror

Nagamootoo learnt his journalism from Janet at the Mirror. So he knows opinions in columns – especially a satirical one like yours truly – aren’t the paper’s position.

But he claimed this on a story from the Muckraker your Eyewitness commented on!! As he does daily on the dailies!


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